Prosperity and self-satisfaction are tied to the freedom and ability to turn one’s own resources to profits without the feeling of oppression. People work to make a living and an impact, but to be someone’s loyal pawn is not work but slavery.
Many people think slavery ended at the close of the colonial regime; today’s slavery is even more painful and dehumanizing than the colonist’s. It is an act of sacrificing one’s own dreams and ambitions to actualize and promote those of others.
I reminisce a quote in the book ‘The Use and Misuse of Children’ by Mokokoma Mokhonoana. The author reveals some buried ways in which the elite community misuse their subservient cronies and subjects to achieve their desires. He says: “We, in the interest of the so-called progress, have been persuaded to leave the production and, at times, the cooking of our own food to companies whose owners and employees make a living by exploiting our busyness or laziness and our innate hunger to continue living.”
The belief that there are better days awaiting one’s less-paid efforts often erodes their ability to think critically, thereby turning their heads into working hard for self-styled bosses to win their recognition.
In a flippant response, however, these bosses expose their subjects to more condescending situations such unfavourable work conditions, irregular payments and few fringe benefits.
To safeguard their reputations, they nip the voices of the workers’ advocates in the bud, always by threats or bribery, to prevent them from exposing the filth in their companies. They garb up their names in beautiful images, but underlying the beauty are grimy old stains of oppression that only their puppets know.
Speaking of oppression, revelations of employers robbing companies millions rock media outlets every day, yet few have ever stopped to think of how people sacrifice their dreams and spend time working hard for those stolen profits. It is similar to what our inept leaders, here in Kenya to take as an example, have exposed us to in treacherous efforts to realize unmet fiscal responsibilities.
We have been plunged into a derisive and complicated state following our precipitous borrowing from China to meet exorbitant budgets. What makes the anger complete is that part of the money borrowed is stolen by our avaricious leaders, condemning tax payers and citizens at large to diverse exploitations.
The arms of slavery in such economic pacts are manifest. Prices of major household commodities have shot up, and we now have to suffer more to put food on the table.
As part of the loan policy, we also opened up free trade with China allowing her to dump her counterfeit goods into the country. These fake goods expose us to health hazards which will undoubtedly cause us an arm and a leg to treat, and, in a complete vicious circle, make us even more subservient to these foreign allies.
The first step in tackling this self-indulgence kind of slavery is the realization that time is like milk; once spilt, it can never be recollected. The time we waste in serving over-ambitious people, organizations and countries at the expense of our own dreams will never be recovered.
We should, thus, not continue allowing other people to exploit our God-given time and abilities for their own selfish gains. We all deserve a better portion of the fruits of our labour, and fairness as a virtue of living.